Tire Issue Forces Stenhouse Jr. to Settle With a 17th-Place Finish at New Hampshire
Loudon, N.H. (July 19, 2015) – With less than 50 laps remaining in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup (NSCS) race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. came down pit road under caution running in the ninth position but a lug nut knocked the valve stem off his right front tire causing Stenhouse to return to pit road for an unscheduled pit stop. After restarting 21st, Stenhouse bullied his way back to pick up four additional positions in the final laps to take the checkered flag in the 17th place.
“I’m proud of my guys because we started the weekend way off but today we had a top-10 car,” Stenhouse said. “It seems something always happens to us when we are having a decent run and today the lug nut knocked the valve stem off causing us to have come back pit road. We still have some work to do on our cars to get them competitive but I’m pleased with how our day went.”
After battling an ill handling machine during his qualifying attempt on Friday, the two-time NASCAR XFINITY champion took the green flag in the 32nd-starting position but quickly maneuvered his Ford up inside the top-25 by lap 26.
With less than 50 laps remaining in the 301-lap race, the Olive Branch, Miss. native brought his Fastenal Ford to pit road for a routine scheduled pit stop but the lug nut off the right front tire knocked the valve stem off causing the tire to go flat when Stenhouse returned to the track.
After the rare occurrence, the Fastenal Ford lined up in the 21st position on the restart. With the race staying green for the final laps, Stenhouse Jr. overcame adversity picking up four positions in the closing laps to take the checkered flag in 17th place.
Stenhouse and the No. 17 team travel to Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2015 for the Crown Royal 400. Race coverage starts at 3:30 pm EST on NBCSN.